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Six Flags Darien Lake (SFDL) Discussion Thread


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Even if there are no major attractions and unrealistic additions added to the park, or even no rides for years, I will be happy to just see basic improvements to get the park up to the standards it is supposed to be at. Painting Mind Eraser’s god awful looking track, and Viper’s station, getting 2 trains running on Viper and RoS, and just overall better maintenance would be perfect and I honestly would take this over a new ride even if it means no new additions for 5 years. Sure, new rides are what will attract GP to the park, but as it has been said before in this thread, even the GP notice the 1 train operations, and poor maintenance. My GP family from out of town was shocked by the one train ops when they came to visit the park. It doesn’t go unnoticed by them. It needs to be fixed.

 

I have to agree with this, I would take no new rides within 5 years over general improvements, staffing improvements and 2 train operations on coasters that need 2 trains and basic maintenance improvements and general park upkeep. I am not saying every coaster has to get 2 trains for next season and all of this has to happen overnight, its obviously going to take time to bring the park up to speed. The GP absolutely does notice the 1 train operations especially when they have been to other parks where the line actually moves for the major coasters. They also need to improve on crowded days where the park absolutely fails. DL's customers are mostly repeat customers who come from local areas to visit the park whether they buy a seasons pass or they make one visit per season and they need to do something to keep the locals coming back for more and that is not necessarily adding new rides.

 

Do we really need to continue to beat this dead horse?

 

 

 

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On the note of trying not to beat a dead horse...

 

Let's bring the conversation back to the possible 2019 Skywarp. Anyone here anything new in regards to how possible it is?

 

Since six flags left the only major investments seen were that of the Hershend era (which was wonderful) and two small coasters - one of which - people have been complaining about since it opened for being too small.

 

Most of those expansions had a substantial part of the bill foot by "cheap" CNL. And glossing over the major expansion of the water park and Motocoaster cost a lot more than Blast Off and a few cheapie rides for Rowdy's Ridge. Even then Herschend with all of its own supposedly deep pockets saw a lot of coasters still running only one train.

 

On another note, no Skywarp but there is a new ride coming. Talk is possibly a Star Flyer/Sky Screamer of some dimension.

 

Newest rumors point away from a Skywarp and more towards a large swing ride like a Sky Screamer or similar. I think that makes more sense as the park has nothing truly similar to that. Lasso and a Sky Screamer aren't that similar of a rider experience, whereas a Skywarp and Super Loop are practically the exact same experience, just one has better capacity.

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On the note of trying not to beat a dead horse...

 

Let's bring the conversation back to the possible 2019 Skywarp. Anyone here anything new in regards to how possible it is?

 

Since six flags left the only major investments seen were that of the Hershend era (which was wonderful) and two small coasters - one of which - people have been complaining about since it opened for being too small.

 

Most of those expansions had a substantial part of the bill foot by "cheap" CNL. And glossing over the major expansion of the water park and Motocoaster cost a lot more than Blast Off and a few cheapie rides for Rowdy's Ridge. Even then Herschend with all of its own supposedly deep pockets saw a lot of coasters still running only one train.

 

On another note, no Skywarp but there is a new ride coming. Talk is possibly a Star Flyer/Sky Screamer of some dimension.

 

Newest rumors point away from a Skywarp and more towards a large swing ride like a Sky Screamer or similar. I think that makes more sense as the park has nothing truly similar to that. Lasso and a Sky Screamer aren't that similar of a rider experience, whereas a Skywarp and Super Loop are practically the exact same experience, just one has better capacity.

 

Maybe an installation of a Zamperla Giant Discovery would be possible as there is nothing like it currently operating at any of the Western New York amusement parks. They seem to draw quite the crowd. But, before any future ride installations, Darien Lake definitely needs to improve upon their operations. As many have said, the addition of more trains on the roller coasters would definitely help.

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That giant discovery looks very cool, I can't see them adding a big ride next year with them just adding a coaster this year but you never know. I would like to see a high capacity flat like that, it would help move lines along. I would like to see them add something truly new and something that has not been seen in WNY or close by in PA, like the discovery mentioned and not just another swing which we already have at the Erie county fair and at fantasy island, the park already has a swing ride so that wouldn't be such a good idea. If they are going to add a ride I don't want it to be a replacement of what they already have or just a repeat of something else that is in the area.

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If Darien Lake is wanting to attract Canadians to your beautiful park, then I would not install a Giant Discovery as we already have one at Canada's Wonderland. However, our Giant Discovery, called Psyclone, is one of the more popular flats at our park, so to add that to Darien Lake would be an awesome addition. It just would not attract folks who live near Wonderland that's all.

 

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However, our Giant Discovery, called Psyclone, is one of the more popular flats at our park,

 

 

FYI - That's not a Zamperla Giant Discovery, its a Mondial Revolution.

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I know this sounds crazy but I actually am thinking that DL is already using the third Tantrum train for parts. Yesterday when I was at the park, trains 1 and 2 were running. This seems to always be the case. I haven’t seen train 3 running since the ride’s opening weekend. Also, yesterday, train 2’s back row restraints were acting up, so they were running only the front row on train 2 and both rows on train 1 all day. Here’s the interesting thing...why wouldn’t they just swap out train 2 for train 3 if train 2 is half broken?? The justified reason for purchasing three trains was to have a backup in case one is broken, yet when one was broken yesterday, they didn’t take the spare out. I don’t know if it is actually the case, but it seems like train 3 is already not operable.

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Today was my first time going to Darien Lake since the Motocoaster opened. I wouldn't have gone, but someone else paid for me to get in so I decided to have a look around and see what has changed.

 

Of course my first stop was Tantrum. Luckily it was a hot, very hot day and I got there around 2pm. This way I wouldn't have to worry about the coaster warming up. The line was short and I was on in less than 10 minutes. First off, it's a very comfortable ride. The seats were darn near contour molded to my tushy and the lap bars were secure and unobtrusive. The seat belt is annoying but once it's buckled I forget it even exists. This was my first Euro Fighter, but I've been on other vertical lift coasters. Tantrum surprised me with a strong drop and some heavy G's at the bottom, The first inversion is quick and transitions into the second faster than I thought it was going to. There is no airtime to be found on that little twisty hump before the overbank, but the trains speed and the fact that it twists a bit make up for what I thought was going to be a boring portion of the ride. My favorite bit though, is the overbank turn and inclined helix finale. The speed of the ride coupled with the tight radius of the track make for a fairly intense finale. Then there is a small pop of air as the car heads smoothly into the brakes.

 

Overall, Tantrum is second only to Ride of Steel. It's a great addition to the park. I hope it's the low expense, high ticket item the park has needed for years to get the wheels turning for a new era of fun.

 

As for the rest of the park, a lot of it looked just like I remembered, the Boardwalk area was great. Rowdy's Ridge was a nice addition, and seeing the Scrambler in a different spot was odd. Blast Off, the tower ride ride was fun, but could definitely use a decor piece for the top of the tower and shade over the queue. I didn't go into the water park but there were a heck of a lot of new slides. But again, it all looked like it needed massive amounts of shade. Twister just needs to go away. They were running a ride cycle that made the Carousel look like a thrill ride, what's the point of even having it if you can't run it the way it's supposed to. The bridge into the campground is blocked off, that's a shame. Motocoaster is still a fun launch and a decent meandering layout. I would love to see some themed elements like a billboard you jump through and road signs you travel past. Smoke on the launch simulating tires peeling out, etc. DL's Boomerang is still my favorite Boomerang. Predator was closed, and Ride of Steel is wicked awesome!

 

There was hardly anyone in the rides area of the park, everyone was in the water park. Fine by me, that meant no lines on all those one train coasters!

 

And now for my "I swear I'm not a racist" story:

I was eating lunch in the pizza parlor in the campground area. I see the lady at the counter trying to take the order of an old asian gentleman. He's pointing at the sign and she's not understanding him so she comes around front to figure out what he's pointing at. At that moment an old asian lady comes walking by, sweeping the floor and I think to my self "I should ask her to help translate what this guy wants." Then I realise that that is racist because I don't know if the lady is even fluent in another language at all. For all I know she was born in America and has never stepped foot outside it's borders. So I turn back to the guy trying to order and I see that he is now behind the counter pointing at the register screen trying to get his order placed. I think to myself, "that's a nice thing the cashier did to help this guy." I just hope he doesn't slip or get burned by the pizza oven right behind him. At that moment the guy starts walking through the kitchen and is touching things like he owns the place! But then he turns toward me and I can see for the first time his Darien Lake name badge! The guy was an employee the whole time, he was just talking with the cashier about the menu, but I was so far away that I couldn't hear the conversation. On top of that I didn't notice that all the employees were wearing the same damn uniform!!

 

TL;DR I'm not a racist... probably.

 

Anyway, here are some photos I took before my phone died of heat exhaustion:

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The Giant Wheel is to me, the focal point of the entire park.

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The Silver Bullet is a classic. I was a ride op for this back in the day, for about 2 hours.

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Tantrum is a good addition to the parks skyline.

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Rolling Thunder peeking through the trees.

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Ride of Steel way back behind Shipwreck Falls. Also, the only non-ugly view of the old 'Cuda Falls hill.

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I wish there was a high capacity version of the Slingshot that didn't have to be upcharge. It's the most intense ride in the park, especially at night.

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Viper, spitting it's venom on unsuspecting folk. I never noticed those little barrels in the middle of the path.

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What remains of the old flume. What were the "taller" pillars for on either side of the flume creek? Did the old mat slides come this far out?

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The Corn Popper. I remember when this was the Rodeo Roundup. I love this ride so much. Lots of great memories on this. I also got to operate this for a day back in 2003.

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Getting close to the new hotness!

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Tantrum is a great roller coaster, and a fantastic addition to the park. Smooth, fast and fun.

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Tantrum has taken over the former queue house of Thunder Rapids. Luckily everyone was in the water park. So no long lines.

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Mmmm, that's a nice erect lift I'm about to ride.

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Exposed sheathing and florescent lights really add that next level of themeing that most parks are lacking nowadays. This is where I'd add a John Hammond "Spared no Expense" meme.

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TWO TRAINS ON A DARIEN COASTER!!! Boomerang was the only other ride with a line, they should have added a second train to that one as well.

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There were giant ugly fields of stone and just as many large areas of grass around the ride. I would have loved to have seen a family flat of some sort added to the area between Tantrum and the midway. I would have also pushed the coaster closer to the main gate to get an epic view of the ride for people entering the park.

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It's a quick ride, and it packs a bigger punch than I was expecting. And it's great to have lap bars instead of OTSR's.

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I'm a sucker for a good ride sign!

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This one is my favorite at Darien Lake, Twister is my second favorite ride sign.

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Tantrum from the Mind Eraser bridge. Look at that pristine water, it's making me thirsty!

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Mind Eraser looks awesome, but rides like Satan's sphincter. If Darien management sees this then please, blow it off the face of the earth and replace it with several Zamperla Volares and a DMV.

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I like how the lamp shades have the Mind Eraser logo, I've never noticed that before.

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One of these is less murdery than the other.

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We'll get to you in a second, I have to complain about something else first...

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What the crap DL, why is there no roof and why have you let my favorite DL flat fall into such shambles? Shame on you. This is where I'd spank you and send you to your room for being a negligent a$$turd.

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Uh-oh, I hope the rescue operation wasn't too dangerous when this bad boy valleyed!

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There was no way I was waiting for a train to be in the photo. Dispatches were slow today. It was hot and all the op's were miserable.

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Thank you Herschend for this awesome themeing. Please buy the park with your Dollywood cash horde and save us whiny enthusiasts from our despair.

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Seriously, the Herschend era of the park was second only to the great late 90's expansion. Just look at this vegetation... LOOK AT IT!

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I don't know if it's the heat wave or if DL is purposely using grass killer to keep the ride track clear, but I wouldn't put it past them.

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No more Ranger, very sad.

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I like this kiddie bumper car building. It's got pine trees painted on its inside. I also like the curves of this classic Arrow looper.

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Not only are these Larson Loopers boring, but Darien has managed to screw up even further. The logo is awful, it's literally the manufacturers CAD drawing with terrible font, and they've plastered this joke of a logo everywhere! Seriously this is the kind of design I expect from an elementary schooler on a windows 97 computer. But I do like the rides color scheme and light package.

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And then there is no shade anywhere and asphalt/concrete EVERYWHERE! Even the ride op booth is this flimsy metal cage. Remember how the Crystal Beach Cyclone had a nurse on duty because of the rides intensity, well there should be a full time nurse here to help the millions who suffer from heat exhaustion just being near this area of the park! Not cool DL, not cool at all (literally and figuratively).

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More classic Viper goodness. A little rough but still miles better than Mind Eraser.

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Another great ride sign!

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I always loved this view, it meant great things lie ahead!

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Not only did I enjoy riding this coaster growing up but I enjoyed operating it for the 2003 season.

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And during Halloween I was a scare actor and all of us undead would ride Viper every night before it closed in full makeup. Such great memories.

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This was me back in the day in my Fright Fest makeup. The scarezone was next to RoS but our HQ was under the bleachers in the old Batman theater so we would stop by Viper on our way out for the night and ride with the park guests! Man I miss that job.

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When the Beaver Bros. Restaurant opened I always thought that was great IP. They should turn the beavers into park mascots. So to see the Seaport kids zone turned into this made me happy. It's a step in the right direction.

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This area and the quiet shoreline of Darien Lake between Predator and the Laser show were always my favorite spots.

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It's still a fun area for the kids, but I do kinda miss the Popeye theme.

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I tried getting the RMC Predator plans from this weasel, but he had a grip on those things the likes of which I've only ever seen in babies on steroids.

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The ship was closed off for some reason. It's a nice quiet area of the park to be in, too bad they aren't using it.

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Kids Stage with Rolling Thunder looming behind.

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The first drop on Viper is short (75' I believe) but it always gets me. Butterflies everytime!!

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What happened to the Flying Raft ride? This doesn't belong here at all! DL, please explode the crap out of this abomination and replace it with a pit full of rusty metal for the children to enjoy.

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Neat little area I've never seen before.

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Nice place to take a nap while your small children run off into the park by themselves.

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I like how the picture on the sign is a giant FU to all those who hope to see lights on this some day.

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RMC Predator confirmed to open at this years Fright Fest!

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I like the nifty design they painted onto the support arms and sides of the cabins.

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There was hardly anyone in the rides area of the park, everyone was in the water park. Fine by me, that meant no lines on all those one train coasters!

 

But that’s the problem. It was the same way on the a Fourth of July. They need to get an attraction(s) that will get people in the rides section of the park.

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Awesome report! It’s a rare treat to get a nice lengthy TR on this thread! By the way, I totally agree with you about the issues of lack of shade throughout the park. Almost every time I visit DL, I leave feeling like I have heat stroke from the sun beating on me all day, paired with all the blacktop. Also, with Sleighride, the roof isn’t their fault. It actually blew away the night before opening day. The missing decorations is their fault, although I am wondering if it is getting restored. I noticed that they just repainted the queue house last week.

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Thanks for the photos. Despite the condition that some parts of the park are in as far as needing some TLC Darien Lake can still be rather picturesque. Tantrum seems to fit in well with its surroundings.

 

Most parks that have water parks included are quite sparse during the day. I was at Kings Island yesterday and for being the middle of July everything had a minimal wait (Beast was practically walk on to one or two train wait for most of the day) and lines didn't really start forming until mid to late afternoon.

 

As for the photo of Sleigh Ride, it reminds me so much of how Raging Seas looked during its final years. It's a shame they couldn't have at least put the décor on the top.

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Parcman, I really don't understand why there is so much negative talk about Darien Lake on this thread. DL is a beautiful theme park. It is almost impossible to create the atmosphere that DL has. From the moment you first walk in to the last moment of your day/stay, Dl has what it takes to make you want to return and return again. No other theme park that my family has been to has ever made us feel that way. Canada's Wonderland has more rides but does not have the atmosphere that Darien Lake has, nor will it ever. You all should be very proud to call DL your home park, it is beautiful!

 

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I just want to see the park grow. I commented on another posters comment about the lack of people in the rides section of the park. Yeah, there’s no waiting time to get on rides. It’s convenient, but I don’t think that’s necessarily a good thing. I would rather see the place packed. The only solution is to add new rides.

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There was hardly anyone in the rides area of the park, everyone was in the water park. Fine by me, that meant no lines on all those one train coasters!

 

But that’s the problem. It was the same way on the a Fourth of July. They need to get an attraction(s) that will get people in the rides section of the park.

 

But were there people in the water park when you were there? I was there on a Thursday and the water park was packed full of people, and the parking lot had just as many cars in it as I remember there being back in the early Six Flag days. I left around 6pm and there were still cars coming in and most of the people that I saw walking into the park were in bathing suits. So if they want to expand the water park, I say go right ahead. Use the wet rides to bring the people in and the dry side can stay empty for me to play in. Same with family rides, build a bunch to get families in and that will finance the thrill rides.

 

I honestly, don't need a big thrill coaster at DL anytime soon. Tantrum is a great addition. All I want is Predator to be retracked (don't care if it's RMC, I like the layout as is) and get new trains that aren't PTC. The park is huge so a nice train ride around it and through the woods would be epic. And some TLC for everything else.

 

Does anyone remember the walk thru haunt that was in the Nightmare at Phantom Cave building in between the year the coaster was removed and Batman installed. That was so awesome, I wish that would happen again. Remove the bleachers, keep the back half for maintenance and storage, but use the front half for a permanent haunt (doesn't have to be open all season).

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Parcman, I really don't understand why there is so much negative talk about Darien Lake on this thread. DL is a beautiful theme park. It is almost impossible to create the atmosphere that DL has. From the moment you first walk in to the last moment of your day/stay, Dl has what it takes to make you want to return and return again. No other theme park that my family has been to has ever made us feel that way. Canada's Wonderland has more rides but does not have the atmosphere that Darien Lake has, nor will it ever. You all should be very proud to call DL your home park, it is beautiful!

 

 

I hope I didn't come across sounding too negative. I too think DL is beautiful. There's plenty to nit pick about, but there are just as many spots to be impressed with. I wish my camera (phone) hadn't died, I didn't get to the pictures of some of my favorite areas of the park. The Pirate / bumper car section, the Tin Lizzy / Twister area (ignoring the batting cage and go karts), the big stretch from the campground to Boomerang into the Boardwalk and up toward the front gate. And as much as I hate the ride now (it was epic in it's glory days) I stop and stare at the Mind Eraser from the parking lot every time I go. It's just such a cool looking structure and being right there by the parking lot with unimpeded views is very impressive.

 

And I would consider Seabreeze to be my home park, I live closer to that, and I like Seabreeze better than DL. Even if DL were running 2 trains and had everything pristine, I would still choose to go to Seabreeze, I just love the atmosphere there.

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There was hardly anyone in the rides area of the park, everyone was in the water park. Fine by me, that meant no lines on all those one train coasters!

 

But that’s the problem. It was the same way on the a Fourth of July. They need to get an attraction(s) that will get people in the rides section of the park.

 

But were there people in the water park when you were there? I was there on a Thursday and the water park was packed full of people, and the parking lot had just as many cars in it as I remember there being back in the early Six Flag days. I left around 6pm and there were still cars coming in and most of the people that I saw walking into the park were in bathing suits. So if they want to expand the water park, I say go right ahead. Use the wet rides to bring the people in and the dry side can stay empty for me to play in. Same with family rides, build a bunch to get families in and that will finance the thrill rides.

 

I honestly, don't need a big thrill coaster at DL anytime soon. Tantrum is a great addition. All I want is Predator to be retracked (don't care if it's RMC, I like the layout as is) and get new trains that aren't PTC. The park is huge so a nice train ride around it and through the woods would be epic. And some TLC for everything else.

 

Does anyone remember the walk thru haunt that was in the Nightmare at Phantom Cave building in between the year the coaster was removed and Batman installed. That was so awesome, I wish that would happen again. Remove the bleachers, keep the back half for maintenance and storage, but use the front half for a permanent haunt (doesn't have to be open all season).

 

It almost seems as if the water park is jam-packed full of people every time I am there, even on weekdays. I honestly live that because I tend to stay more toward dry rides, and since everyone is in the water park, it just means shorter lines for me!

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Parcman, I really don't understand why there is so much negative talk about Darien Lake on this thread. DL is a beautiful theme park. It is almost impossible to create the atmosphere that DL has. From the moment you first walk in to the last moment of your day/stay, Dl has what it takes to make you want to return and return again. No other theme park that my family has been to has ever made us feel that way. Canada's Wonderland has more rides but does not have the atmosphere that Darien Lake has, nor will it ever. You all should be very proud to call DL your home park, it is beautiful!

 

 

I hope I didn't come across sounding too negative. I too think DL is beautiful. There's plenty to nit pick about, but there are just as many spots to be impressed with. I wish my camera (phone) hadn't died, I didn't get to the pictures of some of my favorite areas of the park. The Pirate / bumper car section, the Tin Lizzy / Twister area (ignoring the batting cage and go karts), the big stretch from the campground to Boomerang into the Boardwalk and up toward the front gate. And as much as I hate the ride now (it was epic in it's glory days) I stop and stare at the Mind Eraser from the parking lot every time I go. It's just such a cool looking structure and being right there by the parking lot with unimpeded views is very impressive.

 

 

 

And I would consider Seabreeze to be my home park, I live closer to that, and I like Seabreeze better than DL. Even if DL were running 2 trains and had everything pristine, I would still choose to go to Seabreeze, I just love the atmosphere there.

 

Don't worry, you weren't being negative at all. I was agreeing with you that Darien Lake has always been a beautiful park and very clean.

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If you missed the wood rafts on the kids ride they might come back if Six Flags rebrands it all with Looney Tunes again. A few years after the SF pull out they went back to the animals cars which were the originals I remember back in the 90s.

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If you missed the wood rafts on the kids ride they might come back if Six Flags rebrands it all with Looney Tunes again. A few years after the SF pull out they went back to the animals cars which were the originals I remember back in the 90s.

 

Darien Lake had the animal themed Zamperla Mini Jet ride in the 80s. It was originally located in the old "Adventureland for Kids" kiddie land that was located where Hook's Lagoon and Crocodile Isle are now. In 1996 when Darien Lake got the "Seaport" kiddie land", the animals Mini Jet was probably put in storage and the raft Mini Jet replaced it.

 

I think the rafts were a better fit for Darien Lake's current kiddie land since it was originally nautical themed.

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